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Lebanon's Sunni Islamists: A Growing Force

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Abstract:

The growing influence of Sunni Islamists in Lebanon is fueled by rising anti-American and sectarian sentiments resulting from the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq, Lebanon's ongoing political stalemate, the assassination of former prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri, and the summer 2006 war in which Israel devastated large parts of Lebanon. While mainstream Islamist groups continue to dominate the political and social environment in Lebanon, radical elements within the Islamist movements are further bolstered by the worsening political and security situation in the country, argues a new paper by the Carnegie Middle East Center.

In Lebanon's Sunni-Islamists-- A Growing Force, the Carnegie Middle East Center's Omayma Abdel-Latif identifies leading traditional Islamist and Salafist movements in Lebanon, key leaders, and their relationships with each other and external actors, including the United States, Hizbollah, Syria, and Iran. Sunni Islamist movements include those sociopolitical movements that embrace Islam as the only framework for social and political change and mobilization.